For Immediate Release

Contact: Theresa M. MacNaughton,, 860-520-7114

PlayDate babysitting program to extend through remainder of 2019/2020 season

Free childcare service for theatre-going parents and caregivers will begin on January 18 during Pike St.

Kathleen Register (L), the Very Rev. Miguelina Howell (C), and Shanice Outar (R) with PlayDate guests. Photo courtesy: C. Oliver/Hartford Stage

HARTFORD, CT — January 9, 2020 — PlayDate, the pilot babysitting program jointly developed by Hartford Stage and Christ Church Cathedral last year, will extend through the remainder of the 2019/2020 season.

PlayDate provides free convenient, reliable babysitting for parents and caregivers eager to relax and enjoy a live theatre performance. The service will be offered on the following 2 p.m. Saturday matinees: Pike St. on January 18; Jane Eyre on February 22; The King’s Speech on March 28; and Ah, Wilderness! on May 16.

“As a parent myself, I remember how challenging it could be both logistically and financially to get to the theatre. So, I'm delighted that we are able to continue this great program with Christ Church Cathedral,” said Hartford Stage Artistic Director Melia Bensussen. “Attending the theatre is a wonderful way to reinvigorate and recharge, as well as to reconnect with one's friends and one's partner. Hartford Stage wants to lift all obstacles to parents and caregivers joining us and make attending the theatre part of their New Year's routines.”

Parents and caregivers of children ages 2 to 10 can participate in PlayDate. Babysitting services are provided by background-checked and vetted caregivers at Christ Church Cathedral, located directly across the street from Hartford Stage. During their PlayDate, younger children can play with age-appropriate toys and coloring pages, while older children can enjoy movies and board games.

PlayDate, which received a soft launch last October during the final performance of Quixote Nuevo, debuted during two weekend matinee performances of Cry it Out in November. The babysitting service has garnered positive feedback from the parents and caregivers who have participated.

For more information on upcoming PlayDate performances, visit or call the Hartford Stage Box Office at 860-527-5151.


Hartford Stage enters its 56th season beginning an exciting new chapter. Newly-appointed Artistic Director Melia Bensussen and Managing Director Cynthia Rider will continue the theatre’s legacy of artistic excellence by creating theatrical works that enlighten, entertain, and educate.

Renowned for producing innovative revivals of classics, as well as provocative new plays and musicals,  Hartford Stage has earned many of the nation’s most prestigious awards, including the 1989 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Additional national recognition includes honors from the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, American Theatre Wing (OBIE), and the New York Critics Circle.

Hartford Stage has produced over 80 world and North American premieres, including the new musical Anastasia, which enjoyed a two-year run on Broadway; A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, winner of four 2014 Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Direction of a Musical; and Quiara Alegría Hudes’ Water by the Spoonful, winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Other notable premieres include The Engagement Party by Samuel Baum; Make Believe by Bess Wohl; The Age of Innocence by Douglas McGrath; Seder by Sarah Gancher; Rear Window, adapted by Keith Reddin, and starring Kevin Bacon; An Opening in Time by Christopher Shinn; Reverberation by Matthew Lopez; Big Dance Theatre’s Man in a Case with Mikhail Baryshnikov; and Breath & Imagination by Daniel Beaty. Nationally-renowned titles include the New York transfers of Enchanted April; The Orphans’ Home Cycle; Resurrection (later retitled Through the Night); The Carpetbagger’s Children; and Tea at Five.The leading provider of theatre education programs in Connecticut, Hartford Stage’s offerings include student matinees, in-school theatre residencies, teen performance opportunities, theatre classes for students (ages 3-18) and adults, afterschool programs and professional development courses.

The leading provider of theatre education programs in Connecticut, Education @ Hartford Stage offers student matinees, in-school theatre residencies, teen performance opportunities, theatre classes for students (ages 3-18) and adults, afterschool programs and professional development courses. Education @ Hartford Stage programming reaches approximately 21,000 Connecticut students annually.

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